Category: Texas Business Law

Brace Yourself, Resignations Are Coming. Is Your Company Ready?

Anyone who has been running a business for a while knows that January is a high turnover month for employees. And while companies cannot prevent employee turnover, they can take four steps this month to prevent employees from walking out the door with confidential documents…

The Rise in Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants Litigation – Live Presentation

I will be presenting with Stanley Santire of Santire Law Firm on the The Rise in Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants Litigation on January 17th at 2:30 p.m. at the Texas Bar Advanced Employment Law Course in Dallas, Texas.  You can get a copy of…

A Broken Promise of Whoppers “For Life”: Why the Oregon Man’s Lawsuit Against Burger King Is Going Nowhere

A man wants free whoppers for life after getting locked in a Burger King bathroom and he has filed a lawsuit to get them. Funny as this lawsuit is, it raises many of the same questions that I get from my clients in some of the most complicated contractual disputes, so I thought I’d address some of the most common questions in this post.

Top 5 Non-Compete Cases in Texas in 2018

Unlike many other states around the country, Texas did not see any drastic changes in its non-competition laws in 2018.  However, out of a 100 + cases involving non-competition disputes, the following handful stand out either because they addressed a novel issue or clarified an area of confusion in this gray area of the law. 

Three Key Factors in Enforcing Non-Compete Agreements

What distinguishes those companies that are successful in enforcing their non-compete agreements from those that are not? Generally speaking, just three factors: good agreements, evidence of violations, and swift action to enforce.

The Fifth Circuit Issues Its First Decision on the Defend Trade Secrets Act

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that: (1) a party must “prevail” before it can recover any attorney’s fees under the Defend Trade Secrets Act and (2) a plaintiff’s dismissal of its claims without prejudice does not confer the “prevailing party” status on defendants. 

Non-Compete Agreements: Garbage In, Garbage Out

A confusing, ambiguous, or imprecise non-compete agreement will yield poor results in court.  In other words: garbage in, garbage out.

The Two Steps All Small Businesses Can Take to Protect Their Trade Secrets

Many small businesses use Google, Microsoft 360, Dropbox or some other similar systems to maintain  and manage company records.  All of those systems allow the administrator to (1) set restrictions on which employees can access which information within the company; (2) track what the employees do with that information; (3) set restrictions on whether the employees can print, download, copy or share the information with other employees or people outside the company; (4) periodically change passwords to access the system; and (5) many other features that can help business owners prevent their information being shared outside the company. 

Is Credit Card Information Stored by a Restaurant a “Trade Secret”?

Credit card data (including cardholder names, credit or debit card numbers, and corresponding CVVs) were akin to passwords and usernames that provided access to something of value,” i.e. an individual’s line of credit with a financial institution or money in an account with a financial institution, and were not “trade secrets” under the Defend Trade Secrets Act.

A Study Concludes Mentioning “Trade Secrets” in Form 10-K Leads to More Cyber Breaches

Trade secrets only have value as long as they stay secret, so once they come into a competitor’s hands or become publicly available, their value is often destroyed.

Is it a Crime to Take Employers’ Trade Secrets?

Few employees realize that when they take their employers’ trade secrets with them prior to leaving their job they may be exposing themselves to criminal liability under the Economic Espionage Act, which makes it a crime to steal trade secrets when (1) the information relates to a product in interstate or foreign commerce (which is virtually any product now days) or (2) the intended beneficiary is a foreign power. 

The Fifth Circuit Rules Industry-Wide Noncompete Agreements Are Not Enforceable

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered whether a travel agency’s noncompete agreement with its employee was enforceable under Texas law.  It concluded that because the agreement did not have geographic limits, was not limited to the travel agency’s customers with whom the employee actually worked during her employment, and included entire travel agency industry, the non-compete was unenforceable.

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